Dunnottar Castle from Stonehaven.
Start. Stonehaven (Harbour car park).
Route. Stonehaven - Old Pier - Shorehead - Wallace Wynd - Bervie Brae - Black Hill - Strathlethan Bay - Castle Haven - Dunnottar Castle - Mains of Dunnottar - Coastal Tourist Route - Bervie Brae - Wallace Wynd - Stonehaven.
Notes. Another coastal walk, another castle, but this is Dunnottar Castle, one if not the most spectacular of all ruined fortresses anywhere in Scotland. Perched on a gigantic rock detached from the mainland amongst some of the most spectacular coastal scenery on the east coast. This short excursion started at Stonehaven, a working fishing port with it's history books starting on page one with an Iron Age fishing village, known locally as Old Town.
Our day started in the car park directly behind the Tollbooth, a sixteenth century building that served as a store house for Dunnottar Castle before becoming a courthouse and prison, now a museum. From the front of the Tollbooth we walked around the harbour, along Old Pier and Shorehead to be greeted by a footpath sign indicating a turn to the right up Wallace Wynd, another sign then directed us to Dunnottar Castle. A steep climb followed gifting us with stunning views over Stonehaven and up the coast. After a short stretch of tarmac a good path guided us over Black Hill, we visited the war memorial, an impressive monument deliberately built to look unfinished-as ruined as the lives it commemorates. Black Hill gifted us with our first dramatic views to Dunnottar Castle.
That was it, dramatic coastal scenery all the way to the castle, the path stretched out before us, around Strathlethan Bay across Bowdun then above Castle Haven, sea bird haunted cliffs, stacks, caves and arches a real breath-tacking section of coast. On reaching the castle we paid the entrance fee and went exploring.
Our visit to the castle was worth every penny, as was the burger and brew in the castle car park at a conveniently placed van with handy picnic tables. From the car park the Coastal Tourist Route guided us back, once the main road, it was quiet today and probably always is, with a dusty path guiding us, one eye on the traffic just in case we strolled back to Stonehaven, re-tracing our steps down Wallace Wynd and round the harbour.
view route map.
From the parked car views over Stonehaven Bay.
Dating back to the 16th Century, the Tollbooth a fine old building found on the harbour front at Stonehaven.
Wandering over the cobblestones of Shorehead.
Stonehaven harbour seen from Bervie Brae.
Viewing Garron Point from Bervie Brae.
Black Hill gifts us with our first view to Dunnottar Castle.
The War memorial on Black Hill, an impressive monument deliberately built to look unfinished-as ruined as the lives it commemorates.
Strathlethan Bay and Bowdun Head with Dunnottar Castle in the distance.
Dramatic rock scenery along the Aberdeenshire coast.
Dunnottar Castle as seen over Castle Haven.
Skirting the fringe where land meets sea, looking to the spectacular rock architecture of Bowdun Head.
The most spectacular of ruined coastal fortresses, Dunnottar Castle.
Bowdun Head seen over Castle Haven.
Sunlight dances across the cliffs of Bowdun Head, seen through one of the windows of Dunnottar Castle.
Standing the test of time, the stonework of Dunnottar Castle with views across Old Hall Bay.
The castle as seen from the path to the car park.
Crop fields above North Sea cliffs.
Stonehaven and it's harbour seen from Bervie Brae.
Through the entrance to Stonehaven Harbour the cliffs of Downie Point.
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